Well, it’s that time of year again; it’s fashion week! There’s nothing I love to do more than watching show after show for you all so that you don’t have to. This week, we head to New York City to take a look back at all the Fall and Winter 2020 Ready-To-Wear collections. Oftentimes I find myself gravitating toward the larger fashion houses and the more well-known labels; I was pleased that many of the labels I chose as a favorite this time are new to me. I was specifically enamored with Area, which is a pretty new fashion label. You’ll notice right away that the color black was used predominately this season in many of the collections, and it goes to show that black will always be “the new black.”
Area was started in 2013 by two Parson School of Design graduates, Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk. The upstart label impressively brought their brand and creations to life, and they did so all by themselves, without any investors. According to Teen Vogue, “Every bit of conventional fashion-industry wisdom would dictate that Area should fail.” This runway showcases the level of talent and exceptional tailoring they’re capable of. It’s hard for me to believe that they originally worked predominately with T-shirts and denim; they only started doing runway shows a few years ago. This runway show, in particular, had exciting designs reminiscent of both Nicola Formichetti and Alexander McQueen’s work. The feminization of suit attire and darkness has always been appealing to me and here it’s done exceptionally well. The cutouts in the suits are sexy and intentional, granting the campy designs a seriousness. I’m infatuated with this show, and I hope to see more similar designs from them in the future.
When I see, “ready-to-wear” fashion collections, I often think, “by who”? Fashion is generally designed for digital aristocrats flaunting designs we only see if they can be cheaply reproduced by Forever 21. What I find most compelling about this show, is its blend of attainability and foresight. Dion Lee showcased androgynous designs that were worn both by men and women, and to me, they appear to understand where the fashion market is headed. I genuinely think that these outfits are cool and that many Gen Z and millennials alike would be into this futuristic nostalgia. I believe we are at a tipping point of androgynous fashion taking over the bland styling choices of male celebrities. This line incorporates elements of bondage, jewelry-woven designs, and cutouts in a one-size-fits-all package that the general public should eat up one day.
Honestly, putting Michael Kors in one of my favorite collections of the F/W 2020 was a little excruciating for me. I just have never really liked the brand; it’s simplistic, boring, uninspiring, and, let’s be honest, it doesn’t really have a single memorable and culturally beloved look. I once dated a guy that used to say, “Michael Kors, middle class.” I think nothing is more representative of the brand than it’s multiple shelves in T.J. Maxx. However, I have decided to put my beef with the designer aside and give credit where it’s due. This collection, although safe, is well designed, beautiful, and extremely wearable. Inspired by the countryside and jockey scene, it utilizes plaid and paisley. Michael Kors may not be designing for the future and he may not be particularly innovating, but he sure knows how to design beautiful clothes.
I first learned of Zimmermann in 2018 while working as the PR Chief for Thread. It was our female pick for Runway Realway! Nicky Zimmerman is known for her bohemian flair and feminine details. This show was inspired by lucky charms and fortune-telling. It was as whimsical as it sounds; it maintains a fall witchy-ness while still being playful and fun. The purple used through the whole collection is beautiful, and I’m obsessed with the ribbon ties, boots, and scarves. Zimmerman captures a Stevie Nicks vibe that will always have cultural relevance. Check out our story on her 2018 collection on page 18 below.
Welcome to the capital of Panem, and may the odds be ever in your favor. This collection is dazzling, lavish, exuberant, and excessive in all the right ways. Inspired by the spirit of New York, Khan created a runway show to capture the spirit of America. The dresses are sheer and hand-embroidered with regal colors like purple, gold, and silver. Not shown are the American stars and stripes outfits. The headpieces the models wore reminded me of fireworks, which is a strong symbol of American independence. Although I know the intention of the designer was to celebrate America, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons to the “Hunger Games” series. There’s something so perfectly unintentional of portraying America as disconnected from the bourgeois as well as the harsh realities and political uncertainty of the lower and middle class. However, all that aside, it was a beautiful collection.
Brandon Maxwell is widely known as Lady Gaga’s current fashion director, taking over for Nicola Formichetti in 2012. After starting his ready-to-wear label in 2015, he’s come quite a long way since. I really enjoy how simple and minimal many of his designs are. It’s clear that he is very talented at tailoring, and all the clothes seem to fit like a glove. I think the very sheer fabrics are quite beautiful and draped impeccably. This whole collection was very elegant for such a young, much-awarded designer; I certainly hope to see him step up his game in future collections.
LaQuan Smith’s show was all about confidence. So far I have yet to see a reflective black jacket look vogue. Turning this material into boots was genius. They look super trendy, and the designs are all revealing and somewhat risqué. Everything about this collection screamed sexy and unabashed. The see-through tops, the light reflecting low cut pants, and the leotards had the audience in a fever. I particularly loved this designer’s ability to turn widely used garments into something new by cutting them.
These were my favorite picks from New York Fashion Week’s F/W Ready-to-Wear 2020 runway collections. Next week we will go across the pond and take a look at London Fashion Week.
(All images sourced from Vogue Runway)